Analysts question merits of Apple ‘video iPod’

“Apple Computer already has a smash hit with its iPod digital music player, so it might seem a no-brainer to follow up with one that plays movies in time for Christmas. Not so fast, say analysts and even Apple’s famously secretive co-founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs himself, as such speculation has mounted in recent months on internet bulletin boards and Apple enthusiast websites,” Reuters reports.

“Brokering licensing deals with content distributors and creators, such as movie studios, is expensive and time-consuming. Also, there is yet to be any sign of great clamoring for portable video players by consumers. There are technical issues to consider, as well as the basic nature of immersing the senses that is required to watch a movie,” Reuters reports. “‘There are already a whole bunch of perfectly capable devices out there that can play movies – and they’re called notebook computers,’ said Mike McGuire, an analyst at market research firm GartnerG2 in Silicon Valley. ‘It’s still an open question whether there’s enough demand, and I think that’s central to Apple’s considerations.'”

Full article here.


  1. A lot of people want Apple to make this video iPod first and see it fail. Apple will not fall into that trap. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I do not think that there is a lot of money to be made from portable video players. The only such devices that could make a lot of money are the next generation portable games consoles and PDAs. In either case the video playback will not be the primary reason for buying the divice, much like DVDs were not the primary reason for buying a PS2.

    Remember too that video playback devices would need content and for the moment that content would most likely be pirated material. The film and television industries could make life very difficult for Microsoft if they perceived that any such devices encouraged piracy.

  3. I would rather see an iPod with the ability to be able to store movies, but, have them play back through a TV or a monitor – but not on the iPod itself.

    Being able to take your iPod around to your friends house with a bunch of movies loaded on them, so you can watch them on their TV i think may be a feasible idea.

    But as (i think) Steve Jobs said, watching video is a “foreground” activity. You cant watch a movie while walking down the street, or riding your bike. Where as listening to music is a “background” activity.

  4. How many people do you know that are willing to lug a BRICK in their pocket so that they can watch 2 hour movie? Has anyone seen the video of Billy Goat Gates introducing that BRICK of a video player by Creative Labs? At some recent technology event, I believe it was in Vegas, after listening to a Creative Labs presenter talk about the features of this brick called a Portable Media Center, Billy’s excitingly spews “This is gr8! Thanks. If you don’t mind, I’m gonna take this in the back and watch some movies with my friends”

    Yeah RIGHT! Billy and Monkey Boy trying to watch a movie AND enjoy it on a 2 inch screen. Really exciting. Ho-hum…Zzzzzzz… Try doing that on a street corner and listen to the girls say, LooooooZEER.

  5. I think that when a person decides to take the time to watch a movie or even a 30 minute program, they want to get comfortable, and watch it uninterrupted. There are too many things that your brain has to focus on; the visual, the audible, elements in the foreground, background, etc…, to really enjoy the movie. It really requires your full attention. Listening to music does not.

    A better solution might be as”bleez” wrote, to have the ability to use the iPod as a distribution device, that would allow you to plug it into a traditional device like those that we have grown accustomed to, like 24″ and up tv’s with good “speakers” or plugged into a nice stereo or surround sound system. Only then could you really enjoy the details in the visuals and sound that while sitting in a nice and comfy sofa with beverages and snacks. A 2-3″ screen and headphones or a whatever speaker they could fit into a such as device simply will not convey the experience for a lot of people.

  6. I try to keep my iPod hidden when riding the bus, train and walking downtown. If I had my eyes glued to Britney shaking her thing on my iPod, I wouldn’t see the thugs sneaking up on me…

    Besides, watching DVDs and Tivo’d shows on my PowerBook is pretty awesome!

  7. Music on the go will always sell and sell well but portable video devices never have sold well. The only exception is DVD for your automobile and that market isn’t growing as fast as first though. So Apple wouldn’t make very fast headway with that market.
    Final though in the USA we do have that Millennium Rights Act that makes it illegal for a person to rip a DVD (even though you purchased it) so you would have to possibly repurchase a video that you already own so that you can watch it on your portable player. IMO that’s why the portable players will not fly

  8. I was more excited by the prospect of a video iPod doing for iPhoto what the current one does for iTunes. I’m not too interested in movies or tv shows, though maybe thet’d be a nice side effect. The current iPod makes it feasible to have all of your music in your pocket at any given time, instead of a select few cds you drag around. Instead of just having what few pictures I carry around in my wallet I think it’d be cool to have every digital picture I’ve ever taken and all the ones I’ve scanned ready to show on my iPod… or hook it up to a tv. Friends at work are always checking out latest pictures on each others little tiny digital cameras. I think this alone would make it a good idea. Port iPhoto to the PC. If PC consumers think iTunes was great, they’ll start to notice a pattern if Apple does iPhoto for the PC right and pique more interest in the Mac platform. The only big difference I see is that there would be no equivalent to selling music this way….. except maybe display albumn art……. or videos? Ok, I’m getting distracted, BUT my point is there are formats like videos, artwork, and photography that are not meant to be viewed for 30 min to an hour. This also cuts out the technical issue of battery life being totally sucked up playing movies….

  9. I would want it for photos, but then the screen would have to be a lot bigger as camera LCDs are ok as they are.

    Maybe it would get the odd use as a movie player (so I could watch 30 second commercials ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> 2 hour movies? Forget it.

    I mean, really, what the hell are you going to do with a 2″ display anyway? My eyes are bad enough as it is without squinting to see a screen that small. And I’m in my mid-30’s, not some 75 year old with cataracts.

    Now, if it were a portable movie device which plugged into a tv, then maybe that would be something else. But I’d still have to copy my movies onto it. What’s wrong with DVD’s?

    Btw, how many people do you know with pocket TV sets? I think I know one guy. This is a similar concept.

    A portable video player could be an idea without a purpose.

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